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B&W Prints

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,906
Thanks: 588
Fixes: 8
Registered: 02-08-2007

B&W Prints

Is anyone on the forum printing  Black & White Photographs ?
If I try printing with a colour printer ( Canon 610) the prints come out in various shades of gray or have various tints but it is not true Black & White that you see in old  photographs. I Had thought of replacing all the coloured ink cartridges with Black but before going down this road thought it would be useful to check on this forum first.
Thanks
8 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,909
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: B&W Prints

Sounds like the colours in the photo are not true black or white (as in RGB 0,0,0 and 255,255,255) I guess.
You often get a white which looks indentical to true white on a monitor, but is actually a very pale grey .. which is what you see on your printer.
Printing is not something I often do, but I am sure someone could give you advice on some suitable software to use.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: B&W Prints

I'm afraid, gleneagles, that you're going to be stuck with what you get now. The problem is that the printer is using a mixture of your colour cartridges to produce a B&W photo; this happens in areas where a grey (rather than deep black) is required because it's easier to achieve subtle shades using colours. However, the problem is that printers' colour inks never combine to make a perfectly neutral black/grey; instead, as you've found, they noticeably lean towards one particular colour. Your printer's driver might have an option to print in monochrome rather than colour, and if so, that might be worth giving a go. However, the printer might still enlist the help of colour cartridges - in which case you'll have the same problem - and even if it just uses the black cartridges, you'll then have the issue of graininess because it can't easily produce subtle shades.
As far as I'm aware, you can't just replace all of the colour cartridges in the printer with black cartridges, and if you did I expect the results would be awful as the black would be much darker than the colours the printer would be expecting. Your only option therefore is to buy another printer if you're serious about printing B&W photos - either one that can accept third-party greyscale inks, or one for which the manufacturer actually produces its own greyscale inks ('greyscale inks' being inks which have multiple strengths of grey/black in order to obtain both neutrality and subtle shades/gradations).
Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: 23-10-2008

Re: B&W Prints

I was about to post to say that Thomas and I had a discussion about printers some time ago, and he proved to know quite a lot about printing of photos - glad to see he got here first and gave a better version of his previous advice to me than I would have been able to recount.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: B&W Prints


It is worth trying some software (like Picasa, Photoshop Elements) to convert this to grayscale and try it out. Yep you will some artefacts, but sometimes it looks likes 'photo grain' which some find 'attractive'.
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Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: B&W Prints

The problem with knowing a lot about photo printing is that it costs an awful lot in wasted ink and paper to acquire that 'knowledge'. Sad A full set of ink for my printer is £93.15!
johpal
Grafter
Posts: 550
Registered: 20-04-2008

Re: B&W Prints

I have only ever used HP colour printers. Under 'Properties' on the print menu, I can select 'Greyscale' (uses the black cartridge only, so no appreciable tint), or 'Colour' - in my setup this gives the faintest of pink tinges to the print. However, if you want anything approaching professional b & w prints, you ought to be looking at a dedicated printer, using several shades of grey and black.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,906
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: B&W Prints

Many thanks for your replies. I Guess the way to go is using a dedicated printer.
On the point about costs of ink, I tend to get mine from Hobbicolors in America via e-bay and refill using the German Durchstich method, more information can be obtained about this on www.nifty-stuff.com
Chip Redsetters are also available from Sadhaus in Germany.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: B&W Prints

For what it's worth, I have come across some HP printers that can have a special greyscale cartridge inserted in place of a tri-colour/photo cartridge for the production of black and white photographs - unfortunately however, I can't remember which printers they were, and whether they were normal consumer ones or fancier (semi-)pro ones. If you're really serious about B&W photo printing, you could consider one of Epson's R2xxx series printers - the R2400 or R2880; I have the former and I can testify that it does an amazing job with B&W photos as it uses three shades of black/grey at a time. However, those printers print to Super A3 size so are very expensive, meaning they may well be overkill for you.